As our members should already know, credit unions are tax exempt, not-for-profit alternatives to banks. Credit unions (like Five Star) are owned by their members and exist solely for the benefit of their members - providing lower interest rates on loans and higher rates on savings. Five Star even offers free checking with interest (dividends) to our members. It was because of our structure and dedication to our members that credit unions were granted the tax exemption in 1934 and neither of those things has changed over the past 79 years.
Banks on the other hand, exist for the purpose of maximizing their profits for a small number of wealthy private owners and/or the bank’s stockholders, rather than for the benefit of their customers.
Large banks were the ones that took billions of dollars in government bail out money to keep them from going bankrupt after they caused the collapse of the economy in 2008 and 2009. No credit union took a single penny of bail out money and were not responsible for the recession the banks caused.
Banks have long lobbied against the tax exempt, not-for-profit status of credit unions, preferring the public to not have the choice to use a credit union as a better alternative to a bank. They would prefer credit unions be just like banks, but we are NOT. We are different and better than banks in very many ways and these many differences benefit our members in as many ways. Credit union members quickly discover that “To know a credit union is to love a credit union”.
Why We Need Your Help
Currently, both houses of Congress (the Senate and the House of Representatives) are working on major tax reform legislation.
As one small part of this legislation the law makers are being lobbied by banks once again to try to eliminate the not-for profit tax exemption on credit unions. If this exemption were reduced or eliminated, credit unions would have to reduce the dividends they pay on members’ savings and increase interest rates charged for new loans. Simply put, taxing credit unions would reduce the benefits they are able to provide their members and there are over 96 million credit union members in the U.S.
At this point, no such change in credit union status has any significant support in Congress, but we feel it is important that our members (and indeed credit union members from across the country) contact their Senators and House of Representatives’ elected members and let them know it is important to you that Credit Unions (and their members) continue to maintain the tax exempt benefits of a not-for profit alternative to banks. By hearing from so many credit union members, the lawmakers and their staff are less likely to be swayed by the banks. The more they know you care, the more they will care.
Write Your Congressmen
It's easy to have your voice be heard. Take action by writing your congressmen or visiting www.DontTaxMyCreditUnion.org to send a pre-written email (“under “take action”) to your Member of Congress today, or you can call 877-642-4223 and (after entering your zip code) be directed to your 2 senators’ and 1 representative’s offices to leave your message. Simply tell them, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!" or tell them about the credit union difference if you prefer.
Thank you for your help on this important issue, and as always, thank you for your membership.